“After the landmark international Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, endorsed in 2005, what have been the improvements in the quality of global aid and its effects on development? And how can a political declaration, implemented across widely varying national contexts, be robustly evaluated?
An independent global evaluation – a fully joint study involving countries and donor agencies – has assessed these efforts to improve the effectiveness of international aid, especially since 2005. The evaluation is the largest aid evaluation ever conducted. It has been a major international effort in itself, comprising more than 50 studies in 22 partner countries and across 18 donor agencies, as well as several studies on special themes, over a period of four years. It has broken some new boundaries in the study of complex evaluation objects.
The study had the unusual object of a political declaration, implemented across very diverse national environments to varied timescales. Its methodology rejected a traditional linear approach to cause and effect, emphasising instead the importance of context. It opted to draw out the programme theory of the Declaration itself (and that of the Accra Agenda for Action) and their statement of intent. Recognising the limits of aid in development, it applied contribution analysis to assess whether and how the commitments, actors and incentives brought together by the Declaration and the Accra Agenda have delivered on their intentions. The methodology traces the logic of how the Declaration is supposed to work and illustrates the complex pathways from development objectives to results. Recognising that development is a journey, it focuses on assessing the direction of travel on each key point, and the pace and distance travelled so far.
The study concludes that the global campaign to make international aid programmes more effective is showing results, giving the best hope in half a century that aid can be better used to help developing countries raise their economic and living standards. Improvements are slow and uneven in most developing countries, however, and even more so among donor countries and aid agencies. The Evaluation report, all the component studies and the Technical Annex – which describes the methodology and process – can be found at www.busanhlf4.org and www.oecd.org/dac/evaluationnetwork/pde. The second phase of the study was managed by UK-based development consultancy IOD PARC.”
For more information email // email@example.com IOD PARC, 16-26 Forth Street. Edinburgh EH1 3LH
RD comment: Of additional interest ” Given the importance of the Evaluation of the Paris Declaration, the Management Group commissioned an independent assessment – a meta evaluation – of the evaluation process and outcome to determine whether the evaluation meets generally accepted standards of quality and to identify strengths, weaknesses, and lessons. The Report, by Michael Quinn Patton and Jean Gornick, can be downloaded here” “Evaluation of the Phase 2 Evaluation of the Paris Declaration”